Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen took a firm stance against Chinese President Xi Jinping on Sunday, declaring that the nation, separated from the Chinese mainland by the Taiwan Strait, was not going to “bow to pressure” from the communist superpower. The speech came amid heightened pressures from Chinese communist leadership to gain control of the island, with Xi stating just the day before that China would push hard and violently for “reunification” of the island nation.
Ing-Wen said that the resolve of Taiwan remains just the same, carrying on steadfast with their “goodwill… commitments,” and a vision of “maintaining the status quo.” The speech was given in honor of the country’s founding.
She said that she hopes for cross-strait relations to come to “easing,” and promised that the Taiwanese government would “not act rashly,” but warned that there should be “no illusions that… [we] will bow to pressure.” The statement also included a commitment to “bolster… and demonstrate” the country’s national defense and determination to fend off the Chinese government. Ing-Wen said that they would to everything necessary to prevent being forced down “the path China… laid out for us.” Ing-Wen warned that a future under China would be oppressive, offering neither freedom nor democracy or sovereignty for the nation’s 23 million citizens.
Taiwan has been independent of Chinese rule for over 70 years, but weeks after President Joe Biden blundered the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan, the communist nation of China has dramatically increased threats against Taiwanese independence, and recently sent 150 fighter jets into Taiwanese airspace as a means of intimidation.
On Saturday, Xi Jinping demanded that Taiwan “join hands” with China and reunite. Xi warned that failing to do so would be to “forget their heritage” and “betray their motherland.” He added that those who resist “will come to no good end” and be “condemned by history.”
The U.S. State Department declared commitment to Taiwan and demanded that China put an end to their diplomatic, economic, and military pressures against the island nation. Even the U.S. however, does not formally recognize Taiwan as an official country. A mere 15 countries recognize Taiwan as the Republic of China, with those 15 viewing the current leadership in mainland China as illegitimate.
Author: Matthew Patterson